47. My hopes revive

From Belshazzar, HWV 61, Act III

George Frideric Handel
d minor → g minor

English text


My hopes revive, here Arioch comes! By this
‘Tis plain the revels are broke up. Say, Arioch,
Where is the king?


When you had left the room,
A while deep silence reign’d; the king sat pensive,
As doubting whether to break up the banquet,
Or to continue. At length some parasites,
Those insects vile that still infest a court,
Began to minister false comfort to him.
With this, again
They sat them down to drink. The bowl went round,
The king forgot his fears, the wine inspir’d him,
And he blasphem’d again. Not long we sat,
When from without the gates a noise tumultuous
Was heard, loud shouts and cries, and clashing arms.
The king deputed some to learn the cause.
I gladly seiz’d the opportunity,
And fled a place to swift destruction doom’d.
*Enter a Messenger.*


All’s lost, the fate of Babylon is come!
Cyrus is here, ev’n within the palace!


Cyrus, impossible!


It is too true;
A tumult heard without, the gates unbarr’d,
Disclos’d a dreadful scene: the guards overpow’rd
By numbers far superior, fell before them
With faint resistance. The victorious foe
No sooner saw the gates set open wide,
But rush’d at once, and easy entrance gain’d.

About the text

  • Author: Charles Jennens


  • Nicotris (Soprano)
  • Arioch (Tenore)
  • Messenger (Basso)
  • Continuo


Similar instrumentation

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